The waves made me sick. It was their way of mocking me for being a ‘hard’ geographer.

I didn’t like water. I didn’t like vacations to the ocean. I could count on one hand the number of times that I had taken a dip in the hotel pool on the numerous conferences I had been to in the last five years.

My stomach protest against my actions, against me boarding the super-yacht, against me eating brunch, against me partaking of this historic expedition. A new continent had been discovered, we were going to explore.

Uncover may be a better word. For centuries, nothing had been seen or observed in the Pacific Ocean; NASA with its satellites, the world’s naval forces, teenagers with Google Earth on their iPads, no one had seen this tract of land. Until now.

The world was still scrambling to understand it. How had we missed a cloud pattern that, essentially, stood still? It moved. It swirled. But it continually covered, in some shape or form, an island that was never before mapped, tracked, or made civilized.

I was a part of the first team to set foot on the island. My specialty was mapping the ground, discovering what kind of earth the island was made out, what vegetation grew here, what vegetation could grow here. I had degrees in different biochemistry areas, helping me date the ground. Things that would come in handy once we set foot on ground. Until then, my stomach would still roll and groan, like my new co-workers.

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